Don’t Eat Me opens with a harrowing scene, a woman going in and out of consciousness counting the eyes of the starving animals caged with her, waiting for her to weaken so they can devour her. Investigating her death, Chief Inspector Phosy discovers animal trafficking and judicial corruption. With the assistance of Dr. Siri and friends, her murder investigation brings them all into serious jeopardy, including a trial charging Inspector Phosy of corruption. It’s a complex, full plot with many twists and turns.

Don’t Eat Me is the thirteenth in the Dr. Siri series, one of my favorite mystery series of all time. I  seldom go to book readings or author meet and greets. I went to listen to Tess Gerritson read from “Harvest” at Powell’s Books, but mainly because we were in an AOL book group together and she asked for moral support as it was her first book. Colin Cotterill is the first and only author I went to listen read purely because I am such a fan…and it was way out in Beaverton, too! This is just to let you know how much I love this series and love his books because sadly, this book was a disappointment.

So, for me, I enjoyed Don’t Eat Me but then, I was happy to catch up on what’s happening to these characters I have come to love. I loved catching up with Siri and Civilaii’s friendship, Phosy and Dtui’s marriage and their daughter Malee, Geung’s romance and of course, Daeng’s noodle shop. All the beloved characters were there and we got caught up over several meals at the noodle shop.

However, as I read this, I realized the book would be incoherent to anyone who had not read the rest of the series. So much of what happened is dependent on knowing the characters’ history and character. This was also one of the more unlikely of the Dr. Siri books, and yes, that includes the ones with ghosts helping to solve the mysteries. So, all I can say is if you love Dr. Siri you will like Don’t Eat Me. If you are new to Dr. Siri, read “The Coroner’s Lunch” and the rest of the series. They are a revelation of wit and humor and reveal a whole new world and worldview. They are wonderful and having read the other books, Don’t Eat Me will make perfect sense.

I also must say, I value Colin Cotterill’s commitment to justice for not just the people of Laos, but for animals. This book tackles the issue of animal and people trafficking. Colin Cotterill also is bringing books to Laos and funding a teacher training program.